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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I've posted in the Tundra Forums before, but I'm finally getting around to reading up on the highlander posts.
My wife has an 03 HL and it's getting old - both in years and miles. We took it to get new breaks and they said that the rear passenger strut was leaking oil and both rear struts needed to be replaced. Also, her coolant is very low and I was gonna top it off, but decided I should look into flushing the system first. Finally, since the HL has 107,xxx miles on it, I'm sure it's about time we look into replacing the timing belt. I'm an amateur car mechanic, but know my way around most tools from working on airplanes. Are these three things mentioned something that I can tackle myself to save some money? Or is it worth it to have Toyota do it for peace of mind? Thanks for your thoughts.
 

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It's probably worth pointing out that part of the timing belt replacement is also the replacement of the water pump (not always, it's optional) which would then also include new coolant. So don't worry about a flush if you plan on doing the water pump when you do the timing belt. I would look at doing this soon. It's hard to estimate someone else's capacity to do mechanical work, but the timing belt will be much more difficult than the brakes would have been, or even that replacing the rear struts would be. I've seen some DIY's here and at ToyotaNation with some searching you should find what you need.

The rear struts do have a habit of failing, but if you don't notice any poor handling (loose rear end) or bounciness I'd assume it's the shop trying to upsell you something you might need at some point, but not now. You should be able to look at the strut and see the problem, but the real proof is in how it performs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply a while back. I've neglected to return to this post for a while, sorry. The brake shop did point out to me, however, that the right rear strut was leaking oil and I did see it in person. They quoted me $500 to have both rear struts replaced, which is the cheapest by far. I figure by the time I purchase new struts and take the time to do them myself, there really isn't much money to be saved. I think I'll get these rear struts taken care of soon and then maybe take it to toyota or an eperienced mechanic and have the timing belt taken care of at the beginning of the year. Thanks again for your help.
 

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At 107k miles along with the timing belt you should consider cam and crank seals, belt tensioner and waterpump. Not that much more money ....
4 or 6 cyl ?
 
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